Don't wait until the end of the interview to ask questions

Bonus: 10+ questions I find important to ask during an interview

We all know the typical wrap up for an interview goes along the lines of:

Company: Do you have any questions for us?

Which is your opportunity to find out more about the position, culture, company, etc.

Most people leave all of their questions for this time, however I'd like to explain why this isn't optimal.

When you're asked this question, you're typically at the end of the interview where time is limited so you're only going to be able to ask maybe two or three questions before you have to end things.

I've been sitting on the company side of the interview table for the past 5 years and I'm now only recently finding myself as the candidate so I have been doing some preparation and want to share some thoughts.

Instead of saving all of your questions for the end, try and find ways to naturally bring them up throughout the interview.

This is as much of an interview for you as it is for them so don't feel like you can't ask your own questions when relevant.

Make a list of questions you'd like to know (or reference mine below) and find natural breaks in the conversation to ask them.

Let's say that you're interviewing for a software dev role and the interviewer is explaining what the typical day to day responsibilities look like.

Company: A typical day for you might be working on tickets from the sprint backlog, reviewing PR's, and pairing with other devs. Yada, yada...

You: That sounds okay to me. Speaking of your sprint backlog, how are tasks planned and prioritized?

Company: [explanation]

You: Thanks for clearing that up! So you use agile, great. How do you incorporate technical debt into the sprint planning process? What amount of technical debt exists right now?

A bit of a forced example but hopefully you get the gist.

My Favourite Questions

  • How flexible are the working hours? Can you take time off during the day?
  • How did your company respond to COVID challenges?
  • What does a day in the life of this role look like?
  • What does it look like to succeed in this role?
  • What growth paths are there within the company for this role?
  • How is communication handled? Is it async (think: basecamp) or sync (think: slack)?
  • How is project management handled?
  • Do you conduct regular 1:1 and/or performance reviews?
  • What sort of mentorship is available?
  • What opportunities are there for professional development?
  • How do you deal with technical debt?
  • What sort of challenges have the team faced recently?

Do you have any go-to questions? Let me know in the comments!